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Syria Direct: News Update 01-13-2014

* The Islamic State of Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS) pushed […]

13 January 2014

NewsUpdateJan2014* The Islamic State of Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS) pushed back against rebel groups fighting against it over the weekend, with al-Arabiya reporting Monday that ISIS had recaptured most of its former stronghold in the northeastern city of Raqqa, with opposition sources claiming that ISIS had executed some 100 Jabhat a-Nusra fighters in the process. ISIS also reclaimed the town of Tel Abyad along the border with Turkey, causing the Turkish government to indefinitely close the nearby border crossing.

* Several dozen Gazan children staged a day-long hunger strike and sit-in Saturday in solidarity with Palestinian refugees in Syria, according to the ALRAY Palestinian News Agency. The sit-in, held under the banner “I Starve for Them,” took place in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s headquarters in Gaza City. Parallel protests have been held in a number of other countries in hopes of drawing international attention to the increasingly dire circumstances in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, which is home to almost 150,000 Palestinian refugees and is under siege by the Syrian regime.

Gazan hunger strike for Yarmouk

Children in Gaza on Monday participating in the protest under the slogan ‘I Starve for Them’ to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians in Syria. Photo courtesy of R4BIA Platform

* US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Anne C. Richard will visit Jordan this week to meet with officials regarding the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the Kingdom, the Jordan Times reported Sunday. Richard will be accompanied by Zeenat Rahman, Special Advisor for Global Youth Issues.

* Kuwait is set to host the Second International Pledging Conference for Syria on Wednesday, and a number of Kuwaiti state and private charitable organizations have launched an appeal to raise $142 million to support Syrian refugees living in the Gulf, reported the Kuwait News Agency Sunday.

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